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View Full Version : Weekly Poll: How much read-aloud time do you incorporate into your daily routine?



Topsy
11-11-2011, 08:08 AM
These frosty mornings and fireplace nights have been doing a number on my emotions this week. I've been super nostalgic for those days of old when I could herd my boys onto the couch or bed and we could all snuggle while I would read great books aloud.

Stuff like The Indian in the Cupboard series, A Wrinkle in Time, The Hobbit, and the Chronicles of Narnia. (We were pre-Potter, of course) ;)

Despite all the lovely memories I have of trips, events, and parties through the years, the memories I treasure most are our simple hours of adventuring with our favorite protagonists from the comfort of our living room.

Not only did I love reading our favorite books aloud, but I often found excuses to read their school-related books to them as well. For one thing, my oldest is an auditory learner, and hearing the words spoken tends to make things stick longer than reading alone. And with my youngest having dyslexia, I found that listening to myself (or any kind of audio support) while closely monitoring the words in a book helped him make faster connections between the sounds and the letters.

All this was prime bonding time - - by far my favorite part of homeschooling. Now that my boys are nearing graduation, they don't need or want dear ole' mom to read to them anymore, so thus the nostalgia this week. :sad:

I hope all of you still in those great stages are taking every opportunity to pile up on the bed and Give a Mouse a Cookie, Get Moody With Judy or experience a Series of Unfortunate Events together.

Heck, I wouldn't turn down an invitation to join you this week. :rolleyes:

dottieanna29
11-11-2011, 08:22 AM
I'm working on building up our read-aloud time but my kids don't really go for it. DS is very definitely visual and both are extremely active and bouncy. The only way I've found to have any read-aloud time is for them to be coloring at the same time so I don't get the cuddle on the couch time anyway.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
11-11-2011, 08:28 AM
Our read aloud time has been much less this school year, I'm disappointed to say. Last year we blazed through about a novel a week. I don't know if it's because we're busy with other stuff, because the kids are doing more independent reading, or because we haven't hit upon books they really love. We're stuck in The Enchanted Castle right now and I they're not crazy about it (but seem to like it once we start reading).

Staysee34
11-11-2011, 09:01 AM
I read at least a chapter a day right after lunch. This is our recess. The kids build with blocks, sculpt with play-doh, paint, or whatever while I read to them. So far this year, we've read Pollyanna and The Wind in the Willows. We got away from it for a while when we were having some scheduling issues. Next up is A Christmas Carol. Normally, when we finish a book we watch the movie followed by a comparison discussion. This is slowly becoming a favorite part of their day and I'm thrilled about it.

bcnlvr
11-11-2011, 09:03 AM
I'm working on building up our read-aloud time but my kids don't really go for it. DS is very definitely visual and both are extremely active and bouncy. The only way I've found to have any read-aloud time is for them to be coloring at the same time so I don't get the cuddle on the couch time anyway.

I'm with dottie here. My little men's eye glaze over and they start talking....about something totally different. They just don't like to be read to. I have tried for years and will continue to try (to say that I did MY part), but alas, they just don't care for it. I had to put that I don't really read aloud to my kids. Please don't judge me! Maybe you can come over and try it. THEN you'll see what I am talking about! ;)

Lou
11-11-2011, 09:45 AM
I put can't count...not sure if we exceed the 2 hours a day thing...I read in the mornings until one of my kids is not really interested anymore...I read throughout the day...at night I read bedtime stories until my eyes are closing and I can't read anymore...if we are in a good story, I call hubby to take over...we listen to countless audio books in the car...The kids read in their own beds on their own for 30 to 60 minutes before lights out...and after lights out I put an audio book on and they listen off to sleep...so we certainly exceed 2 hours of "listening to stories" if you count audio book time...but if only counting me reading to them, I really have NO CLUE if we meet or exceed the 2 hour frame...we just read all the time.


I'm working on building up our read-aloud time but my kids don't really go for it. DS is very definitely visual and both are extremely active and bouncy. The only way I've found to have any read-aloud time is for them to be coloring at the same time so I don't get the cuddle on the couch time anyway.

My son is VERY BOUNCY...and when I used to have them narrate the stories back to me, I was always shocked that he got far more out of the story then my daughter who was snuggled up and contently listening...he's jumping up over the back of the sofa, literally doing summersaults off the sofa, wiggling around the room, etc. I'm not even sure if he heard a thing...and my daughter is tucked cozily under my arm listening and looking and loving the time spent together...she's the perfect 'student'...however, at narration time, my son can almost verbatim tell the story back, he can give detailed information about the illustrations...my daughter can maybe tell you the name of the main character and some vague thing they did (especially if she goes AFTER my son, she then steals what he says)

So my point...just because they are all over the room, doesn't mean they aren't retaining it...in fact in some cases, they retain it far better then the child that is snuggled up so perfectly. My daughter (when the kids were in school) was a 'dream student' (I even had the upper teachers tell me they couldn't wait to have her) and my son was a 'distraction to the class' (I'm sure they were thrilled we pulled out) the bouncy ones just don't fit the school room box and that's one reason why it's good they are homeschooling. :)

Lou
11-11-2011, 09:54 AM
I'm with dottie here. My little men's eye glaze over and they start talking....about something totally different. They just don't like to be read to. I have tried for years and will continue to try (to say that I did MY part), but alas, they just don't care for it. I had to put that I don't really read aloud to my kids. Please don't judge me! Maybe you can come over and try it. THEN you'll see what I am talking about! ;)

audio books and books on DVD helped us cross that bridge. BEFORE I also had a child that really disliked bedtime story time...he would give me the "awww do I have to" thing....he's interrupt, glaze over, fidget, be bored, etc...but I found that if I read to him "his interests" (at the time it was pokemon) he would listen...so I would read the pokemon stats, what their battle skills were, their numbers, etc...and then he would listen...and I would play audio books in the car and tell the kids "shhh I REALLY need to hear this" and eventually something kid funny (I think we started with Junie B Jones audio books and then Magic Tree House audio books) and they would start to listen...I would turn it off and get the "whoa...I was listening to that" ... (it was more of a mom's just checking type turn off, hee, hee)...and now they are up to harry potter and other much longer books...they got thru 'secret garden' which was long...and they seem to remember from the last car ride where we were...but it always hasn't been that way...I had my fair share of reading pokemon stats (which I hate) and listening to shorter, but kid friendly stories in the car before any kind of 'reading' magic happened in this house...also me letting go of my child sitting still helped a lot! :)

Back to the books on DVD...that is a big help, because my kids like to watch screens...you can get books on dvd and then have the subtitles playing as well...you can also 'read' books on the computer where the kids flip the pages with a click and listen to the audio...those helped us get more 'into' reading as well....

Topsy ~ I find myself reading the 'lesson books' to my kids...ie: the other night (they can hear me from their room when I'm in mine) my son wanted me to read to him, but it was after bedtime & he was invading MY time...so I just read my book (that I was reading at the time) out loud (which was an art manual on how to teach children colors, lines, etc) and he totally applied a bunch of it to our artwork the next day! He may of gotten more out of it then I did...??? Your comment about reading school related books reminded me that I can read teacher manuals and my son will 'get' what we are doing without me really going thru the motions of 'teaching' (if that makes sense?)

bcnlvr
11-11-2011, 10:17 AM
audio books and books on DVD helped us cross that bridge. BEFORE I also had a child that really disliked bedtime story time...he would give me the "awww do I have to" thing....he's interrupt, glaze over, fidget, be bored, etc...but I found that if I read to him "his interests" (at the time it was pokemon) he would listen...so I would read the pokemon stats, what their battle skills were, their numbers, etc...and then he would listen...and I would play audio books in the car and tell the kids "shhh I REALLY need to hear this" and eventually something kid funny (I think we started with Junie B Jones audio books and then Magic Tree House audio books) and they would start to listen...I would turn it off and get the "whoa...I was listening to that" ... (it was more of a mom's just checking type turn off, hee, hee)...and now they are up to harry potter and other much longer books...they got thru 'secret garden' which was long...and they seem to remember from the last car ride where we were...but it always hasn't been that way...I had my fair share of reading pokemon stats (which I hate) and listening to shorter, but kid friendly stories in the car before any kind of 'reading' magic happened in this house...also me letting go of my child sitting still helped a lot! :)

Back to the books on DVD...that is a big help, because my kids like to watch screens...you can get books on dvd and then have the subtitles playing as well...you can also 'read' books on the computer where the kids flip the pages with a click and listen to the audio...those helped us get more 'into' reading as well....

I hear you. BTDT, I think that I have decided to pick my battles. My sons have WIDELY divergent interest areas and audio books are WORSE than ME reading. I tried them in the house, on the ipod, in the car. Nope. So then we went to the DVD's. A *little* better, but for two kids to do different books, there wasn't the time and we only have one computer to play DVDs on. (we don't have a dvd player or TV, only a desktop computer that is shared by everyone).

I am hopeful that the fact that I do not read aloud to them will not make them stupid. The easier, softer way is to let them read their own books and discuss with me. I follow MCTs guidelines for reading. The kids have two books going at any given time, a pleasure book and a "school" book. We discuss both.

*sigh*

Lou
11-11-2011, 10:46 AM
I hear you. BTDT, I think that I have decided to pick my battles. My sons have WIDELY divergent interest areas and audio books are WORSE than ME reading. I tried them in the house, on the ipod, in the car. Nope. So then we went to the DVD's. A *little* better, but for two kids to do different books, there wasn't the time and we only have one computer to play DVDs on. (we don't have a dvd player or TV, only a desktop computer that is shared by everyone).

I am hopeful that the fact that I do not read aloud to them will not make them stupid. The easier, softer way is to let them read their own books and discuss with me. I follow MCTs guidelines for reading. The kids have two books going at any given time, a pleasure book and a "school" book. We discuss both.

*sigh*

*sigh* I feel for you...but sounds like you have tried many options...if they are reading two books...yeah! I highly doubt they will turn out "stupid" :)

My neighbor's 9 year old daughter hates reading or anything to do with it when it comes to school type books, but she loves to read to my kids...so I give her 50 cents and her mom gives her 50 cents for her to come read bedtime stories to my kids...the little girl thinks it's great to earn a buck and I like the break to chat with a friend while the kids still get bedtime stories and the mom likes that her daughter is practicing her reading...and my kids love having her read to them....it's a win win situation for all of us. :)

MrsLOLcat
11-11-2011, 11:06 AM
I usually read one or two chapters of a book at night, and I read DS' history to him, but that's about it. Both kids enjoy it but can't sit still long enough for more.

freedomfamily
11-11-2011, 11:15 AM
I had to say other. We use a lot of audio books. There are days that we might do nothing else but listen to a book. Then there are days that I am reading quite a bit for a project in science of social studies. Still, I have days that i seem to not read a word out loud. So we are other.

dottieanna29
11-11-2011, 11:47 AM
So my point...just because they are all over the room, doesn't mean they aren't retaining it...in fact in some cases, they retain it far better then the child that is snuggled up so perfectly.

I definitely understand this. Unfortunately it's not just bouncing around the room. It's running in and out of the room, singing songs/making random noises, interrupting to ask random questions about other things or tell me about something completely unrelated to reading. It is very clear that I'm reading to no one but myself, that they have absolutely no idea what I'm saying. I can get maybe a half hour in if they are coloring. Dd still won't have any idea what I read about but ds will show sings of having listened and may (about 1/2 the time) even come sit next to me after a while or ask questions about the story (the type of questions that are usually answered with "keep listening and you'll find out"). They look through a lot of books on their own, play a lot of computer games that require reading and see me reading almost constantly so there's an interest in books and reading, just not in listening to me read.

As for audio books - even I have trouble listening to audio books. It's something that I have never been able to do. Without something to look at, my mind just wanders away. My son is very definitely visual and not at all auditory.

farrarwilliams
11-11-2011, 12:10 PM
Some days we do well over 2 hours, even three or more. Other days, maybe just half an hour at bedtime. I think probably about an hour or so if you average it all out.

We were at this thing sponsored by some organization that tries to get parents to read aloud to their kids for 15 minutes a day and they asked all the kids if their mommies and daddies read to them for 15 whole minutes a day. My kids turned and looked at me - one rolling his eyes and the other looking genuinely confused. "Who doesn't do *that*?" they wanted to know.

ksb427
11-11-2011, 12:25 PM
We're reading Harry Potter right now - usually a chapter a night before bed. Sometimes if we're home during the day, I'll read a chapter in the afternoon as well. My older one likes to play around with a few Lego pieces as he listens which is fine with me. My younger one will just plop on the loveseat and listen. These are definitely golden moments that I wouldn't trade for the world.

Lou
11-11-2011, 02:01 PM
I definitely understand this. Unfortunately it's not just bouncing around the room. It's running in and out of the room, singing songs/making random noises, interrupting to ask random questions about other things or tell me about something completely unrelated to reading.

these things are going on when I read too...but amazing to me...actually the evlolution has shocked me because it used to drive me insane. I would get so frustrated and angry actually at it, sometimes firmly yell at the kids and basically ruin our reading time...I finally gave up and gave in and just acted like I was reading to the wall...actually faced the wall and read loudly to the wall, doing my best to ignore his antics...and my son was able to tell me the whole story and even details about Illustrations I swear he didn't see! Soooo the next time it happened I closed the book and quietly walked away...(not all that interested in reading to a wall again, wasn't in the mood for it that day)...and the kids asked why I didn't finish the story, they were baffled that I stopped in the middle of it...I told them it was hard for me to read to all the distractions...they apologised and now they keep it a teensy bit more in control...but in that process I was truely the one shocked and amazed...I had no idea my son could have sooooo many things going at once and still take it all in...At first I was a wreck with all the distractions and it took a lot of my own patience to continue reading without loosing my place, etc...but NOW we are able to read with some bouncy activities, running from room to room, playing with other toys, singing, etc...but I don't do verbal interruptions directed at me while I'm reading...I tell both of the kids, if they have a question and want to interrupt my reading voice, they can put up their hand and I will get to them at the end of the page/paragraph, etc...if they choose to verbally interrupt me without the polite method, then I stop reading completely and they will have to wait for another time to finish that story or hear any more. I will say it's been about a year that this process has evolved...and NOW they are fairly good about interruptions, but still do it and they just don't get any more books for that time frame...if it's bedtime, they whimper and are sad, but they know the reason.

I'm audio..I love audio books...when I have to read quietly to myself the text just blurrs and becomes a landscape for me to mentally wander around reading paragraphs over and over without absorbing a word of it...hence the reason I do better when I read out loud...as for 'directions' I'm totally visual...I need to see the process done...youtube tutorials, etc...I could anything if the directions came in a visual format. Visual and audio is a perfect solution for me....

Hampchick
11-11-2011, 02:37 PM
My older son loves being read to so much I think I could read the dictionary and he'd be content.

Depends on the day; between 1-2 hours. Usually it's history (sometimes he reads, but he'd rather I did), science, and a couple of chapters of something longer, plus picture books for my younger son in the evening. Sometimes the kids cuddle with me in the evening but often they will play while I read.

Lou
11-11-2011, 02:39 PM
I'm curious how many hours a day folks that follow a literature based / living books type curriculum do...??? can that be a side poll somewhere???

Topsy
11-11-2011, 04:01 PM
I'm curious how many hours a day folks that follow a literature based / living books type curriculum do...??? can that be a side poll somewhere???

Great question. We did Sonlight for a couple years and it actually almost became TOO much reading for a short while. I think I lost my voice a time or two during that phase. ;)

inmom
11-11-2011, 04:02 PM
Kids are teens...so answered that I don't read aloud to them. However, up until a couple of years ago, I still read aloud to them around 1-2 hours a day.

Gabriela
11-11-2011, 06:08 PM
I'd wear my vocal chords out if I read aloud more than an hour a day.

My son and I take turns reading aloud for Science and History, and he reads short stories to me once or twice a week.

theWeedyRoad
11-11-2011, 06:16 PM
1-2, but mostly just to my dd. She'd have me read all day long to her I think. Last night I read her "Bear Snores On" twice... well, because *I* love the way the words in that book taste. I had her repeat them back to me so she could taste them, too ;). I also read her a chapter or so in our current read aloud while she makes wonderful pictures of the story.

ds HATES to be read aloud to, and will run screaming (being funny though) out of the room if a book comes out. Reading aloud to him is confined to his science or history, and those we take turns reading.

Amanadoo
11-11-2011, 06:22 PM
I voted 1-2 hours. Sometimes it's more. Sometimes it's almost zero--one children's book.

rumbledolly
11-11-2011, 07:08 PM
We've become a little lax with reading aloud so far this fall but we generally read for about 30-45 minutes aloud a day. We started The Pigman's Legacy but have put it down to work on other stuff. We listen to an audio book for approx. 3 hours a week on the trip to and from homeschool co-op which has taken the place this fall for reading together. We've listened to a bunch of stuff including Arthur Miller's The Crucible, Rules by Cynthia Lord which we both loved, Blizzard by Jim Murphy which we both also loved, and right now we're finishing up Room One, a Mystery or Two by Andrew Clements.

I know once we're into winter and stuck home more we'll start reading to each other again.

Lou
11-11-2011, 09:48 PM
I think I'd read all day long if I could get away with it, becuase it's the "EASIER OPTION" IMHO when it comes to teaching...ha, ha...

hockeymom
11-12-2011, 06:51 AM
Having mama read to him used to be one of my son's very favorite things, so from nearly day 1 of his life up until recently we could easily spend hours snuggled on the couch together lost in some great book or another. This year, though, that's fallen by the wayside now that he's such an independent reader. Now he gets lost on his own in big novels and has even taken to reading to himself before falling asleep. I miss that time together, and I'm hoping once winter settles in we'll get some of it back.

He does prefer if I read his history books out loud, so I guess that counts, but it isn't the same to me as reading together for the sheer pleasure of it.

zcat
11-13-2011, 08:46 AM
I do read aloud to my dd often but my voice can probably not take more than 2 hours.
I voted less than 1 hour but I don't time it. It is whatever needs to be done or dd wants to do. After one chapter in a book she will generally want me to stop.

Laina
11-13-2011, 09:21 AM
We have a morning meeting/reading time, where we talk about the day and look at the weather and read a story or poem. Then there is Five in a Row time, when we read that book. Then most afternoons we read a chapter from a longer book, and then before bed either my husband or I read them three books (one dd's choice, one ds's choice, one parent's choice). So a lot.

One issue now is that Lou is really getting into chapter books, but the ones she chooses are "Magic Puppy" and that kind of thing, not really the more quality literature I would prefer to read with her. I was thinking of doing the you choose-I choose turns for chapter book reading as well. She can pretty much read the easy chapter books by herself now, so I guess I could save that for independent reading time or for the bedtime book she gets to choose, and force my picks during the day. My other issue is that my 4yo does love reading aloud, but is too young to get into the chapter books we read in the afternoon, so he walks around aimlessly or jumps on us or sings loudly next to us instead. I am feeling a little guilty lately that I am expecting him to "go play" during Lou's seatwork time already (or do his own workbooks, which he attempts, but his fine motor skills are so weak he gets easily frustrated), so this is another time that's more for her than for him. Plus he especially doesn't like traditionally "girly" books, and I see this being an issue no matter how old he gets, as Lou and I work our way through the American Girl series, etc. Any and all advice from you wise homeschooling parents will be taken with gratitude.

bibiche
11-13-2011, 06:24 PM
It depends. I think we average 1-2 hours per day, but some days we read much longer. I know that I hate to put down a really interesting book myself, so I tend to be indulgent when DS really wants to continue reading a book together.

Jeni
11-14-2011, 09:00 PM
We read aloud to our kids every night (I read to dd and dh reads to ds). Until recently I was reading to ds during nap time too. Chapter books only, with limited pictures. I won't do picture books at bed, it's too distracting. And then I read aloud when we are doing lessons. Mostly from history or LA when we do them.